Budgeting


Budget Friendly Fall Activities

Budget friendly fall activities are easy to come by.  The weather is a great mix of not too hot and not too cold.  The seasons are changing and if you live in a particularly hot climate, you finally feel like you can go outside! There are so many options for budget friendly fall activities that are indoor and outdoor.  If you are looking for something to do that involves food, sports, exercise, kids, date-night, or friends, I have got you covered! Check out eight of my favorite budget friendly fall activities. Camping My family went camping every year when I […]


2017 Financial Goals Update

As we are now over halfway through the year, I thought it was about time I gave a financial goals update on the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself and get things done. Checking in on your goals will also help you adjust if necessary and see how far you have come in meeting your goal. We set four financial goals at the beginning of the year…let’s see how we are doing so far. 1. Use cash only for groceries and eating out – the two biggest […]


Setting a Gift Budget for All Occasions

One area of our budget that has a tendency to get out of hand is our gift budget category. In the past, I have not been very good at anticipating all of the social events that will require a gift purchase.  In turn, this usually means that we end up spending too much on a gift or just not budgeting properly for the month. There is also the pressure of being invited to a birthday party (especially a kid’s party!) last minute and needing to get a gift but knowing it is not in the budget or someone purchasing a […]


$1000 Emergency Fund – Why It Works for Us

Ever since graduating college, I had been obsessed with having at least $10,000 in the bank.  I figured it was a good enough of an emergency fund to cover any “emergencies” that were not long-term job loss.  The problem was that I (and then we, once we were married) would either hesitate to dip into this money for “emergencies” and instead put it on a credit card or we would use the cash for something that we deemed important.  But looking back, none of those items were really that important, let alone emergencies.  Saving money is important, but make sure […]


Three Reasons to Organize Your Finances

The first three months or so, (maybe even the first whole year!) of creating and using a budget are going to be a learning experience.  If you have no idea how much money you spend in any given category when you first start out, it will take time to learn your habits, course correct, and organize your finances.  The process of creating a budget and tracking your expenses each month is going to help you tremendously. Funny how the actual practice of making and using your budget will help you become better at budgeting! How To Organize Your Expenses So […]


How Creating Financial Goals Will Help Your Finances

Last year after spending entirely too much on Christmas and putting the majority of it on a credit card, my husband and I decided that it was really time for us to take a hard look at our finances. I received my last paycheck in August of 2015 following our decision for me to stay home with our daughter.  For the next few months, we just spent time learning how to live on one income.  While we were able to do this fairly successfully, we were not being intentional with where our money was going.  As long as we came […]


Why I Create a Monthly Budget Every Month

Once upon a time I thought I was so smart and efficient for spending hours pouring over a spreadsheet and figuring out the PERFECT numbers that would make our budget work for the new year – usually based on our spending from the previous year (spending that was over budget for that year, mind you).  And thus, a vicious cycle began.  The problem was, I was setting the same numbers for each of my expense categories for each month.  So while we had a budget that we were following, we inevitably would go over budget one month because of an […]


5 Steps to Start a Budget

Did you know that approximately one in three Americans keep and follow a budget each month? This means that the majority of the country does not budget their finances.  I believe that there are two main reasons that people do not create a budget – the first being that they do not know how to start a budget and the second being that they are scared what creating a budget will tell them about their financial situation.  Today I am going to talk about how to overcome the first problem.  Below are my five easy steps to start a budget! 1.  Calculate an accurate number for the […]


How to Create a Christmas Budget

Christmas comes at the same time every year.  So why do so many people go into debt or not create a budget for Christmas? Christmas 2015 was the first time we ever set a true budget for spending on Christmas items.  While we did go over that budget, we were lucky and still did not go into debt because of overtime that my husband worked in November. However, I think we spent way too much money ($2000 when all was said and done!) and I DID keep track of everything we spent money on related to Christmas so that I […]


How to Not Spend Your Savings

I have been using the best little trick since I can remember to ensure that I do not spend money allocated for savings before I actually save it. If you do not already have your paycheck direct deposited into a checking account, STOP AND DO THIS NOW.  This may seem like a no-brainer but I just want to be sure you have it done as this is key to getting your money to where it needs to be.  I am not sure that most employers even send out paper checks anymore but having your paycheck directly deposited into your account is […]